The Innovations in American Government Awards is the nation's preeminent program devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. The program highlights exemplary models of government innovation and advances efforts to address the nation's most pressing public concerns. Since its inception in 1985, the Program has received over 27,000 applications and recognized nearly 500 government initiatives since it was established in 1985 with funding from the Ford Foundation.
The Awards serve as a catalyst for bringing creative and effective solutions to some of government's most urgent and seemingly intractable challenges. After a rigorous process of identification and evaluation, a national selection committee of distinguished scholars and practitioners, chaired by David Gergen, selects the top programs. Such programs receive grant funding and significant press coverage. The Innovations Awards Program works vigorously to disseminate the valuable lessons offered by these initiatives.
In 2010, the Innovations in American Government Awards Program launched Bright Ideas. This new initiative is designed to further recognize and promote creative government initiatives and partnerships and create an online community where innovative ideas can be proposed, shared, and disseminated.
Research & Teaching
Innovations in American Government case studies are developed with select award winners. These compelling studies have been incorporated into the curricula of hundreds of Harvard University courses and thousands of courses offered by institutions around the world. Three of the program's case studies are consistently ranked among Harvard Kennedy School's twenty bestsellers.
Ash Summer Fellowship in Innovation
The Ash Summer Fellowship in Innovation places Harvard Kennedy students in operational roles with past winners of the Innovations in American Government Awards.